The mind is being bound by endless desires

Endless desires constantly arising and passing away in the impure egoistic mind, where there’s an acting self cognition in the mind generates attachment or grasps onto these desires, and ceaseless actions are being performed to gratify/materialize all these desires, unwittingly being bound by or being the slave of endless desires and the ceaseless effort to be chasing after the gratification of all desires.

When one is alive, “I want to be this and that.”
“I want to do this and that.”
“I want to be happy.”
“I want to be successful.”
“I want to be positive and strong.”
“I want to be healthy.”
“I want to be somebody. I don’t want to be nobody.”
“I want to be a man. I don’t want to be a woman.”
“I want to be a woman. I don’t want to be a man.”
“I want to be famous.”
And then,
When one dies,
“I want to be this or that.”
“I want to be an angel.”
“I want to be in heaven.”
“I want to be a star.”
“I want to be a tree.”
“I want to be a cat/dog/fish/bird.”
“I want to be a man. I don’t want to be in a woman’s body.”
“I want to be a woman. I don’t want to be in a man’s body.”
“I want to be remembered.”

There’s never ending of desire to be ‘somebody’ or ‘something’ that one is not.

And everybody are being brought up in the society being encouraged or empowered to be ‘somebody’ that is not what one is. Very few just be, without attaching onto any names and forms to be ‘somebody’. From all those identifications as ‘somebody with certain names and forms’, one identifies strongly as this is ‘I’/’who I am’.

One doesn’t need to be ‘somebody’ or ‘anybody’ or ‘nobody’. One doesn’t even need to be ‘me’ whom one thinks and believes that is ‘who/what I am’.

One is just what one is. And whatever one is, it’s mere manifestation of the impermanent and selfless modification of the mind born out of ignorance, influenced by cause and effect and powered by Prana/energy and fed by endless desires. One could be very/less successful and might be ‘wearing’ many ‘name tags’ of different ‘names and forms’ in this life existence of a selfless body and thinking mind, but none of these names and forms is ‘I’. There’s no ‘I’ existing to be identifying as ‘somebody’, of this or that, of good or bad.

Go beyond the manifestation of the mind perception of a selfless worldly life existence of names and forms that is subject to impermanence, and realize oneness, selflessness, namelessness, formlessness, attributelessness, birthlessness, deathlessness.

There’s no distinction or separateness of this consciousness and that consciousness, or lower consciousness and higher consciousness, or pure and impure consciousness, or individual consciousness and universal consciousness. One doesn’t become that. All is that.

One who realizes this, is desireless/fearless/worryless/lonelyless. Desireless is the way to cut off delivering the ‘fuel’ that feeds the wheel of birth and death.

Missing someone or something or somewhere that we like and love?

The mind that is practicing yoga is free from attachment, clinging or craving, it doesn’t miss anyone or anything or anywhere.

Yoga practitioners who still always or occasionally feel missing someone or something or somewhere that they like and love very much, that is not here or unavailable or absent in the present, know that it’s a by-product of egoistic passionate desire of attachment, clinging or craving.

Miss seeing or being with someone. Miss doing something. Miss having something. Miss being somewhere. Miss seeing something. Miss hearing something. Miss smelling something. Miss tasting something. Miss feeling something. Miss thinking something.

Many people, including yoga practitioners, would think that yoga is about love, and believe that if we like and love someone or something or somewhere, if we appreciate someone or something or somewhere, we should feel that we miss them when they are in a distance, or out of sight, or unavailable, or absent, that we should think about them a lot, and we would worry about people and things and places that we like and love very much. We would wish to see or be with those whom we miss, or have the thing that we miss, or do the thing that we miss, or be at the place that we miss. That is what most minds that are full of passion, enthusiasm and love, do naturally. There’s nothing wrong with that, just that it’s not what yoga and yoga practice is about.

The love that is mentioned in the teaching of yoga, is unconditional love, or compassionate love, or love without attachment, that is free from attachment, clinging or craving and ‘missingness’.

Missing someone or something or somewhere is the manifestation of attachment, clinging or craving towards what the egoistic mind likes and wants, it’s nothing to do with being kind and compassionate towards all living beings and non-living objects that are impermanent.

So, next time if we feel missing someone or something or somewhere that we like and love, then know that it’s just a manifestation of egoistic desire of attachment, clinging and craving. If we don’t get this or don’t understand this, then we are not practicing yoga even though we might be doing or teaching yoga everyday for many years. If we got this or understood this, then without judgment, we start practice letting go of attachment or practice detachment.

Doesn’t miss anyone or anything or anywhere, doesn’t mean that we don’t like or don’t love or don’t appreciate anyone, or anything, or anywhere. Just that our liking and love and appreciation towards everyone, everything and everywhere is without attachment, clinging or craving.

Contemplate on this and be free.

Inquire the truth of everything of what we’ve been told or informed that influence our thinking and behavior

Since we were new born babies, when we began to perceive the world of names and forms through the senses, we were told many stories and information about this is who we are and this is who we should become, or this is what we should do and shouldn’t do, or this is how we should behave and shouldn’t behave, or what is meaningfulness and meaninglessness, by our parents, care takers, relatives, neighbours, school teachers, religious teachers, spiritual teachers, friends, society, politicians, activists, icons, social and commercial medias, scientists, researchers, historians, artists, philosophers, and many others, as well as our own imagination.

Our minds are being conditioned to think, believe, and behave according to all these stories and information we’ve been told. Meanwhile our reasoning power also functions under the influence of these conditioned thinking and belief. All kinds of agreements and disagreements coming from our minds are based on this reasoning power that is influenced by these conditioned thinking and belief.

It doesn’t matter what our minds think and believe what things are and how things should be like, and what we agree and disagree with, the path of yoga and meditation is to inquire the truth of everything, including all the stories and information we have been told and informed by all and everyone, even if it’s coming from our most beloved people in our lives, or most respected human beings in the world.

And thus, the inquiry into the truth of everything is not done by the reasoning power of the intellectual minds that functions under the influence of the agreements and disagreements based on different types of conditioned thinking and beliefs, but, it’s through freeing the mind from attaching towards any kinds of thinking and beliefs, to allow the mind to be able to see the truth of things as it is, uninfluenced by any conditioned thinking and beliefs.

When one knows about this, one is not affected or determined by all kinds of psychological influential actions and speech coming from different types of individuals or groups for fulfilling their selfish purposes out of their self-interests. When one is free from the influence of all kinds of conditioned thinking and beliefs to think, to act, and to speak, that is the true freedom of thinking, action and speech.

A student may ask the teacher – What do you believe and don’t believe? or, Do you believe in this? But, what the teacher believes and doesn’t believe, and whether the teacher believes in this, or not, is nothing to do with the truth, or with the student’s realization of the truth. Realization of the truth doesn’t come from agreeing, accepting and adopting what the teachers, or other people believe or don’t believe.

May all be free.

Renouncing worldly social activities

All physical activities should be completely suspended, all attachments should be ruthlessly cut asunder completely for five or six years, if you want to practice Dhyana Yoga, if you want to realise God through concentration of mind. Newspaper-reading and correspondence with friends and relatives should be completely stopped; as they cause distraction of mind and strengthen the world-idea. Seclusion for a period of five or six years is indispensable.
– Swami Sivananda 

 

The practice of renouncing worldly social activities, as well as seclusion and solitude, is contradicted with the conditioned thinking and belief of the worldly minded sociable community where most people have strong attachment or clinging towards family and friends, worldly identities and social activities.

There’s no need justification for oneself and about one’s yoga practice, when one is practicing yoga and has the correct understanding of the mind and the mind stuffs. There will be criticism and condemn coming from the worldly minded people who are conditioned to think and behave in certain ways, whom also expect other people should also think and behave in certain ways, to be socially and culturally accepted in the society.

In certain social culture, having a friend or some friends come together to engage in conversation consisting of gossip, complain, mourn, criticism, condemn and back-biting is seemed to be a totally normal and acceptable behavior. But those who choose to stay away from such social interactions and conversations, and stay away from people who like to engage in such activities would be criticized for being unfriendly and impolite. In certain family bring up, acting to be agreeable and speaking lies to say nice things in front of others while they have bitterness, ill-thinking and ill-will towards others, but they want to complain and criticize and speak bad about others behind their backs is being recognized as a form of cultural politeness and socially acceptable behavior. But this is not yoga practice.

Those who practice seclusion and solitude and renouncing social activities, they minimize social activities and contacts with other human beings as much as possible including family and friends, as they can generate great distraction, polluting one’s mind with worldly ideas and attachments, pull one away from one’s yoga practice and disrupt one’s regular practice routine by taking up one’s time, space and energy for yoga practice, if one doesn’t have strong self-discipline and certain degree of non-attachment. This would be criticized by the passionate worldly minded sociable community as anti-social, cold, selfish, uncaring and unfriendly, which are being seen as abnormal, or wrong, or inappropriate, or unacceptable behavior to them. And hence, only those who are bold and have strong affirmation in their yoga and meditation practice for self-realization can take up the practice of renunciation, seclusion and solitude. All the others are just clinging onto the worldly names and forms and be happy with what the minds think and believe as worldly achievements, while doing some forms of yoga practice as part of their life activities to relieve stress, to be healthier and to feel better. There’s nothing wrong with that.

In yoga, it’s a noble act to benefit the society by focusing one’s life existence, time and energy for conquering one’s impure and outgoing mind, to be free from ignorance and the by-products of ignorance, so that one can truly benefit and care for the society. Those who take seriously in this practice, they don’t talk much. They don’t mingle. They don’t spread further negativity or impurities into the society through social talking and mingling. They don’t commit actions of gossips, criticism, condemn, back-biting, boasting, flirting, teasing, telling lies, hypocrisy, finger-pointing, blames, complaints, grumble, mourn, and etc. They don’t encourage or support others to engage in such activities by keeping themselves away from such activities or conversations.

Those whose minds are tamed, purified, one-pointed, undistracted and free from worldly passionate desires after underwent intense disciplines and restrictions, can then mix freely into the society and perform selfless actions to serve the worldly community without egoism, attachment and identification, while being undisturbed, or unaffected, or uninfluenced, or undetermined by the worldly activities, actions and the fruit of actions.

The worldly minded sociable community including many of those who think they love yoga, who practice or teach yoga, they might not be able to appreciate or understand the great value of renunciation nor will they have any interest in this practice. In fact, they criticize and condemn others who uphold renunciation, seclusion and solitude.

For most people, it’s possible for them to cut off from the society for a short period of time, as they know they will be back into the society very soon, but it’s impossible for them to be cutting off from family and friends and social activities for a prolonged period of time to allow the mind to have the prolonged period of being free from stimulation, to be quiet, to be in silence. The mind will resist and give itself many ‘rational reasons’ not to practice renunciation, seclusion and solitude.

Renunciation, seclusion and solitude can be developed through gradual process for most people who have strong attachment towards worldly identities, social activities, family ties and friendships. Such like attending short and long silent meditation retreats from time to time, giving themselves and their family and friends a ‘rational reason’ that “I will be away or won’t be in contact with the society, family and friends for some time.” and “It’s totally okay if I don’t mingle, don’t talk, don’t read news or books, don’t look at others, don’t mind about others or the world, and don’t interact or associate with anyone, as I am in such a setting for it.” Some people will start to appreciate such a great relief from being away from worldly social activities and relationships, but for many others, their minds are like fish out of water. There is no guarantee that after attending some silent retreats one will develop detachment and non-attachment towards worldly names and forms which is what yoga and meditation practice is all about.

Om shanti.

P/S : We can’t and won’t run yoga retreats when family and friends are visiting us. When we are running retreats, we don’t accept any family or social visits as it disrupts the retreats. Personally, when I am not running yoga retreats or teaching classes or writing about yoga, I retreat from the social world as much as possible.

 

Param Vairagya – Absolute Dispassion – Neither attachment nor non-attachment

When all the duality of

Good and bad

Right and wrong

Positive and negative

Happiness and suffering

Light and darkness

Gain and loss

Praise and condemn

Success and failure

Appropriateness and inappropriateness

Norm and abnormal

Sane and insane

Birth and death

Are not different from one another

All fear and worry vanished

There’s neither craving nor aversion

There’s no attachment towards either side

Detachment doesn’t exist

There’s neither attachment nor non-attachment

Do cheerful people only have happy feelings and don’t have any unhappy feelings?

Being cheerful doesn’t mean that there is not any unhappy feelings and there’s only happy feelings all the time.

There’s nothing wrong with happy and unhappy feelings. It’s part of the normal function of the mind to react upon coming in contact with the objects of the senses that the mind likes and dislikes, agrees and disagrees with. Or, due to mood swing caused by hormones imbalanced. But cheerful people know that all these feelings are impermanent. They do not have clinging or craving towards happy feelings, or aversion towards unhappy feelings. When happy feelings are absent, they are still cheerful as they are. When unhappy feelings arise in the mind, they are still cheerful as they are.

Those who know non-attachment towards happy and unhappy feelings, they are not being determined by all these fleeting happy and unhappy feelings to be who they are, to be happy or not, to be confident or not, and to feel meaningful or not.

Cheerful people might have unhappy feelings when their minds come in contact with the objects of name and form that the mind dislikes and disagrees with, or when they are not getting the names and forms that the mind likes and wants. Or, when their hormones are imbalanced. But, they know how to let go of unhappy feelings more easily and quicker than those who have attachment towards all the perception of names and forms to be determining them to be who they are, to be happy or not, to be confident or not, and to feel meaningful or not.

The lesser and weaker attachment towards any names and forms, there will be less reasons or lower chances to be unhappy, and vice versa.

Those who have less demand and less expectation, who are less fussy and easily content, who are patient, tolerant, generous, forgiving, adaptable, adjustable and accommodating will have less trigger of unhappy feelings, and vice versa.

Go beyond the identification of ‘happy being’ and ‘unhappy being’.

Keep practicing non-attachment without expectation until the mind is completely be free from any impurities that derived from ceaseless reactions towards objects of name and form influenced by the desires of craving and aversion.

We will realize unconditional peace that is beyond all kinds of happy feelings, and undetermined by any qualities of name and form, when we are free from the desire of want to feel happy and want to be a ‘happy being’, or don’t want to feel unhappy and don’t want to be an ‘unhappy being’. But, allow all the happy and unhappy feelings to come and go without generate attachment or identification, without craving or aversion.

Love ourselves as we are even though the mind is not being happy all the time.

Be free.

Yoga practice for emancipation…

“I am not the body, the body is not mine.
I am not the mind, the mind is not mine.”

This is the basic teaching and practice of yoga. But, for some, it seems to be almost impossible for the mind to be free from ignorance, to go beyond names and forms, to be free from being conditioned by the idea of “I” and all that is related to “I”.

It is up to everyone to inquire or investigate into the truth of this teaching and all the other teachings from anywhere, and realize the truth through our own Self-inquiry.

Some people want to be able to go beyond all the names and forms, but find it difficult to practice non-attachment in everyday life. Many people don’t want to go beyond the body and mind, to be undetermined by the impermanent changes of the body and mind to be “I”, and be free. They rather cling onto the idea of “I” and life existence, being passionate about “I” and everything that is related to “I”. They are determined by the impermanent body and mind, and all the qualities of name and form that they perceive through the senses to be “I”, whether wittingly or unwittingly. They give themselves reasonable excuses why it is not necessarily to practice non-attachment or to renounce the world, to be peaceful and happy. They believe that life should be full of passionate desires waiting to be fulfilled to keep life going and meaningful, or else it isn’t life. Dispassion and desire-less is unbearable and wrong for them. And there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s their freedom of choice for what they want to do with their life.

For those who are determined to be free from suffering, to be able to help other suffering beings efficiently, they will focus their entire life time and existence into the path of emancipation, gradually moving away from worldly ideas and passionate desires.

Due to the veil of ignorance, the ego, or the idea of “I” in the mind, generates attachment and identification with all these qualities of names and forms to be “This is I”, to be existing, to be acknowledged, to be known. There’s strong attachment and identification with the thinking, the belief, the knowledge, the state and the ability of the mind, and the condition, the ability and the appearance of the physical body, as well as all the relationships with other beings and objects, to be “I”.

We are being determined by the impermanent qualities of the body and mind, and the relationships with other beings and objects to be confident, to be satisfied, to be happy, to be worthy and meaningful, or not. And all these qualities of name and form are subject to impermanence. And hence, the mind is constantly restless and dissatisfied. The stubborn attachment and identification doesn’t allow the mind to be free from the idea of “I” and all that is related with “I”. And this doesn’t allow the mind to see the truth of existence, which is I-lessness.

Upon the realization of the truth of I-lessness, the mind will be liberated from all sorts of suffering that derived from ignorance.

From the attachment and identification with qualities of name and form to be existing, the egoistic mind generates ceaseless desires of wants and don’t wants, craving and aversion, where all sorts of suffering arise.

“Is it necessarily to renounce the worldly social life and activities to be free from ignorance and suffering?” Well, it depends on each individual whether we have strong self-discipline and an undistracted mind, or not.

If our mind has rooted firmly in non-attachment, and is undistracted or uninfluenced by whatever the mind comes in contact with, or interacts with, being undisturbed or unaffected physically, mentally or emotionally, then we can mix freely into the society and involve with social activities freely, unrestricting the activities of the body and mind, while having the strong self-discipline and concentration maintaining one-pointedness towards the complete annihilation of ignorance.

If our mind has not yet develop a strong foundation of non-attachment, and is easily distracted and be influenced by whatever the mind comes in contact with, or interacts with, easily being disturbed and affected physically, mentally and emotionally, then we will need to renounce worldly social activities for a period of time, to allow the mind to be quiet and still for a sustained period of time to be able to reflect upon the truth as it is.

If emancipation is not what we are looking for, then be free to live a passionate and unrestricted worldly life. Be happy with what we want for our life. But then when we experience disappointment and suffering, and feel hurt, disturbed, angry, or depressed about the reality that we don’t like and don’t agree with, it is our own choice as well.

Anyway, there are no shortage of New Age ‘yoga teachers’ in the modern world teach about “Follow all your desires, be passionate and indulge in worldly sensual enjoyment” as liberation. Why bother about renunciation to perform Sadhana that is so wrong, unnatural and painful for the worldly egoistic mind. As even when someone tries to renounce the world, it doesn’t guarantee that this being will be liberated, if there’s no real renunciation.

Some might think that we are now existing in an new era, renunciation is outdated. Some people who love their yoga and meditation practice might think that there’s no need to renounce the world, they have already gotten the benefits that they wanted from their yoga and meditation practice. Some think that they are somehow smarter than those past enlightened beings who all had went through renunciation, seclusion and intense Sadhana for many years to attain liberation, and then came back to the world to help other beings to attain liberation. It’s our own freedom for what we want for our lives.

Be happy.

Detachment…

There’s no need to reprogram the mind. We just need to deprogram what has been programming the mind. Reprogram is like take it out from the existing box and put it into another box that we think is nicer. Abandon any box, no matter how ‘nice’ it seems to be, and be free.

Unconditional love and peace is within us, but for some people it appears to be so far away…

Yoga is about realizing unconditional love and peace. It’s nothing to do with attaining good physical condition, physical strength and flexibility, good health, longevity, or worldly happiness.

It is right here in this moment, right here within us, but somehow, for some people it appears to be so far away, that we need to take a long time and to go a long way to reach it.

It’s because it is beyond the mind perceptions of names and forms, it is beyond all the qualities of names and forms, and unconditioned by any qualities of names and forms. That’s why it appears to be very far away, or it’s almost unreachable for some people, as the untrained egoistic and impure mind is unceasingly attached onto all the qualities of names and forms that the mind perceives through the senses from moment to moment, being busy or restless all the time, and constantly looking for love and peace in the qualities of names and forms that is impermanent, and this is what make it appears to be so difficult to realize the unconditional love and peace that is always here.

Just like the mind is always busy looking at objects of sights via the eyes, recognizes this and that, admiring this and that, but it couldn’t see itself. It doesn’t know itself.

If this love and peace is determined by qualities of names and forms, is influenced by what we eat or don’t eat, or what we do or don’t do, or what we have or don’t have, then it will be so easy for everyone to attain this love and peace. If so, by eating certain types of food, and doing certain types of activities, and having certain types of objects will allow us to be peaceful and compassionate. But, it doesn’t, as unconditional love and peace is undetermined by any qualities of names and forms, uninfluenced by energy and elements, and unaffected by what we eat and don’t eat, what we do and don’t do, or what we have and don’t have.

The state of mind will always be determined by qualities of names and forms, be influenced by energy and elements, and be affected by what we eat and don’t eat, or what we do and don’t do, or what we have and don’t have, but the unconditional love and peace is not part of the states of the mind being influenced by energy and elements. It is beyond all the different states of the mind that are impermanent.

On top of that, it’s not determined by the egoism of who we think we are, or what we are, or how we are, or where we are. It is also nothing to do with the physical health and fitness condition and abilities to do this or that. It is nothing to do with how much knowledge we know about this and that. It is nothing to do with all the pleasant and unpleasant life experiences. It is nothing to do with whether our behavior is nice or not nice, is good or not good.

The love that is in a form of feeling of affection towards certain qualities of names and forms that we like and agree with, and the peace that is coming from the mind being influenced by energy and elements, being determined by what we eat or don’t eat, what we do or don’t do, what we have or don’t have, is conditional love and peace that is impermanent. It is not the unconditional love and peace as mentioned in the teachings of yoga and meditation, which is unlimited and unconditional, which never increase nor decrease, that doesn’t exist due to cause and effect, nor cease existing due to cause and effect.

Go beyond the mind perceptions of qualities of names and forms, go beyond all the different states of the mind, by practicing non-attachment and non-identification persistently, free the mind from egoism, ignorance and impurities, not craving for a particular state of mind nor aversion towards a particular state of mind, allow the mind to rest in silence, undisturbed, unaffected, uninfluenced, undetermined by the perceptions of names and forms, and realize this unconditional love and peace, and be truly free.

Just like a movie is determined and influenced by many different elements and efforts from many people to make it into a movie to be available on the movie screen for people to watch, but the screen is not affected, nor disturbed, nor influenced, nor determined by the movie that is being projected onto the screen.

Om shanti.

Divert the attention of the mind away from what it thinks is troubling it…

For those who haven’t developed a strong foundation of non-attachment and detachment, then whenever they feel that their minds are disturbed by something, they can try to divert the attention of the mind away from what it thinks is troubling it, by focusing on something else. It can be anything that draws the interest of the mind, like watching a movie that they like to watch, or doing some form of mental or physical activities that they like.

But this is only a momentary relief for the mind to stop thinking about what is troubling it, to stop feeding these thinking, and eventually let these thoughts to eventually die out by themselves. The mind might sway back and forth between different attentions, swaying back and forth between happiness and unhappiness, being restless. It also won’t guarantee that the mind won’t be disturbed by the same kind of names and forms again, or be disturbed by some other kinds of names and forms. The mind will be forever restless, no peace.

For those who have developed a strong foundation of non-attachment, their minds won’t be disturbed by anything. They just let all the perceptions of names and forms to come and go as they are, from moment to moment.

For those who haven’t developed a strong foundation of non-attachment, occasionally their minds might generate attachment towards some names and forms, and be disturbed by these names and forms, but they know what is detachment or how to let go. They are aware of this disturbance in the mind and they are able to observe the disturbed state of the mind without generate judgment or expectation, just accept the reality as it is that the mind is disturbed in this present moment now, have self-control not being over-powered by the disturbed state of the mind to perform actions and speech that will generate more disturbance in oneself or into the surrounding environment. They don’t need to runaway from or ignore the disturbance in the mind by diverting the attention of the mind onto something else. But they observe without being determined or over-powered by the state of the mind, and allow the disturbed state of the mind to pass-away eventually.

Keep practice. Strengthening the practice of non-attachment and detachment.

Om shanti.